Electric cars are scarce in Brooklyn, but Tesla Motors may change that. The luxury electric car maker plans to open a showroom in Red Hook — yes, that transit-starved area that has become a destination.
Tesla’s taking over part of the former Golten Marine Terminal at 160 Van Brunt Street. It recently signed a lease for a 40,000-square-foot space in the former ship engine repair shop, reported The Real Deal.
At first glance, the location choice might seem a little odd. The nearest subway station — at Carroll Street — is a 15-minute walk away from the building. Tesla’s not going to get much foot traffic from passerby.
Most of Brooklyn’s other car showrooms cluster in Bay Ridge. (Long gone are the days of Automobile Row.)
But we have a feeling that Tesla will somehow manage to solve any transportation issues for patrons getting to and from their Brooklyn flagship — perhaps a private electric shuttle?
Actually, the magnetic lure of electric cars will probably be enough to entice prospective buyers to venture to the area. The new showroom will likely join other area destinations — IKEA, Pioneer Works, and Fairway — that draw weekend adventurers to the neighborhood.
The owner of 160 Van Brunt Street — real estate investment and development firm LIVWRK — bought the 98,650-square-foot industrial warehouse for $21.5 million in the fall of 2014 with the intent to transform it into creative office space.
LIVWRK is now courting startups and tech companies to lease the remainder of the space, charging $45 a square foot, according to The Real Deal.
Other developers are flocking to the nabe. Nearby, a condo conversion at 160 Imlay Street is going full force, rentals are rising further down Van Brunt, and a proposal for the massive Red Hook Innovation Studios is still in the fundraising stage.
The move comes amid talk of expanding transit to the area with a streetcar service and expanded ferry service. As for electric cars in Brooklyn, there are at least seven charging stations already in the borough, including at the Whole Foods in Gowanus at 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue — a nice jaunt from Tesla’s future home.
In Northern California, where Tesla’s from, they’re all over the place, from the airport to grocery stores to public library parking lots. Maybe we’ll soon be seeing more of them in Brooklyn too.
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